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Review: Jacob & Co Epic X Chrono Carbon Bugatti

one for the outlandish crowd
by Peter Chong on June 20, 2019
Overview
Brand

Jacob & Co Epic X Chrono Carbon Bugatti

Complication / Type of Watch

forged carbon over a black DLC Ti base case.
Column wheel chrono, bicompax.
LE 110

Recommended Retail Price

CHF 36,000 before tax.

We get close up and hands-on with the new Jacob & Co Epic X Chrono Carbon Bugatti, a celebration of 110 years of Bugatti: forged carbon on DLC titanium Chrono.

Jacob & Co Epic X Chrono Carbon Bugatti

This is a special version of a sporty “Bugatti Chrono Edition Limitée 110 Ans” in a limited edition of 110 pieces to mark each year since the founding of Bugatti by Ettore Bugatti in 1909. At the Jacob & Co booth in Baselworld, a Bugatti Chiron similar to the one in the photograph below is prominently displayed, proclaiming this special partnership.

Case dial and hands

The Bugatti case is a special forged carbon case. The case is made of a combination of black DLC Titanium and Forged Carbon, giving the watch a unique look. Coupled with the French flag colours on the dial as “racing stripes”. The overall aesthetic evokes the emotions of a rush, a sense of energy, movement and power.

The case is rather massive, coming in at 47mm in diamter and 17mm height. However, due to the titanium and carbon fibre construction, it feels very light and agile on the wrist.

The pushers are in black DLC titanium and protected by the guards in frged carbon. Pushers are flat buttons which follows the power lines of the overall aesthetic. Both the screw down crowns are in black ceramic.

The dial is in carbon fibre with a black satin finished anodized aluminium inner rings. A Bugatti logo completes the dual branding at the lower half of the dial, while the Jacob & Co logo occupies the upper.

The layout is the classical bi-compax design, with the hour and minutes indicated with skeletonized javelin style hands, and a subsidiary seconds hand on the 9 sub-dial. The chronograph has two hands, a centrally pivoted chronograph seconds hand in red and a minute totalizer at the sub-dial at 3.

Legibility is not the absolute best as the dial colours are complementary rather than contrasting, but the visual impact of the French tricolors are quite impressive.

The timepiece comes on a special rubber strap inspired by the iconic rear bonnet of the Bugatti Chiron and will feature the iconic “EB”-logo on the buckle to commemorate the partnership.

The movement: JCAA05

The defining technical element of the Epic X Chrono is the Jacob & Co. JCAA05. We understand this is a house developed self-winding chronograph movement exclusive to Jacob & Co. This movement is used in the the other watches in the Epix Chrono series. In the Bugatti edition, it is skeletonized.

Movement finishing is rather hard to judge as the back sapphire glass is smoked in a dark finish. The French tricolors with “110 Ans Bugatti” is proudly emblazoned across the movement. We did get a look at the open movement and observed circular Côtes de Genève applied on the bridges. The chronograph works features a very high engineering polish applied to the bridges and the column wheel. The rotor is finished in a very dark antracite with red lacquer engraving of “Jacob & Co Genève”.

Competitive Landscape

Chronographs that are co-branded with car companies are rather aplenty. And thus the landscape has no shortage of inhabitants. From the Girard Perregaux Ferrari 8020 series from 1994 to 2004 (the author owns one of these from circa 1995) to the Jaeger-LeCoultre Aston Martin AMVOX series from 2004 to 2016, or the outlandish Richard Mille RM11-03 McLaren. Perhaps neither fish nor foul, and all are sufficiently different that they may not really be considered to be going after the same pot. Either the design angle is from totally different worlds, and/or the pricing levels are too vastly apart.

However, we think that the ongoing collaboration between Breitling and Bentley is perhaps one where the form and price is in the same ballpark. We reviewed the Breitling Bentley GMT B04s Carbon.

It too features a large 45mm carbon case, a carbon dial, and a column wheel chronograph. However, it boasts of a World Timer in addition to chronograph works. It is a limited edition of 250 pieces. And price wise, it a bit less expensive at S$31,000 compared to the CHF 36,000 asking price for Jacob’s Epic X Bugatti.

Concluding thoughts

Overall, the presentation is competently done with a fairly restrained aesthetic; safe for the French tricolor emblazoned on the dial. Especially so since Jacob & Co is usually known for their over the top watches featuring wild and incredible complications, often adorned with humongous gemstones. After all this is the same Jacob Arabo at the helm, who created the likes of the Astronomia, the Twin Turbo and Twin Turbo Fast and Furious. All exceptional watches with the over the top appeal so irresistible to that special set of ultra high end individuals.

So in this context, the Epic X Chrono Carbon Bugatti is rather restrained. But make no mistake this is a discreet watch which will hide within the owners cuffs. This is a statement piece, with a powerful wrist presence. One which of the few who can carry it off, are also able to afford the rather reasonable CHF 33,000. And for those who demand even more wrist presence, there is the Twin Turbo Fast and Furious Bugatti Edition.

Jacob & Co Epic X Chrono Carbon Bugatti Specifications

Movement: Caliber: Exclusive Skeleton Column Wheel Bi-Compax Chronograph, Self-Winding Jacob&Co JCAA05 Diameter: 131/4’’’ i.e. 30.40mm; Height: 8.40mm; Components: 260 Functions: Hours, Minutes, Seconds (Small-Second Indicator at 9 o’clock) Minute, Seconds Chronograph (Minute Counter at 3 o’clock); Centered Chronograph Hand Rotating Inner Bezel Ring Timer Power Reserve: 48-Hours Frequency: 28’800 vib/h (4 Hz) Jewels: 27 System: Anti-shock Finishing: Polished Movement Bridges; Open Barrel; Column-Wheel finishes: Angled, Polished and Drawn; Anthracite Rotor with Red Lacquered Engraving “Jacob & Co Genève”, Circular Grained Bridges.

Case: Diameter: 47mm; Height: 14mm; Components: 61 Material: Black DLC Titanium Grade 5 and Forged Carbon; Black Push Downs Pushers; Black Screw Down Ceramic Crowns Case Back: Sapphire Glass with Bugatti’s “110th Anniversary” logo; Carbon Fiber case back with a special engraving “Bugatti Edition Limitée” Crystal: Sapphire with Anti-Refl ective Treatment Water resistance: 200m
Dial & Hands: Dial: Carbon Fiber; Black Satin-Finished Anodized Aluminium Inner Rings; Black X shaped decoration; Bugatti logo Hands: Skeleton with White Super-Luminova; Red Chronograph Hand
Strap & Clasp: Strap: Rubber; Clasp: Black DLC Titanium Deployment Clasp
Limited Edition: 110 pieces

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